Abstract Photography

motion-blur-20161201_mg_8452A little different subject from what I am used to.  I was going through some courses on the GrayLearning website yesterday and Tim had just posted a new one on Motion Blur. I have spent some time working with long exposure photos and moving water, but I have never done the blur by moving the camera.  At least not intentionally. 🙂

I have a subscription to GreyLearning so I logged in a watched the course. It was a short one.  Only about thirty minutes or so.  It did give me some ideas so I went out first thing this morning when there were still a lot of shadows on the trees and started to experiment.  The ‘featured image‘ is one of my better attempts at moving the camera in a vertical motion at 1/8th of a second. A little post processing in Lightroom and I think it came out reasonably well.  Mmmm, maybe I will add an Abstract gallery to my PhotoShelter site in the next week or so.

Ugh

I spent the evening trying to figure out how to get my website and Photoshelter to have the same look and feel.  What a mess.  I did manage to get both to have the same logo (sort of) and they do look similar in general format now.  As a last gasp for the evening, I did manage to link this blog to my main page on my website and vice versa.  Based on that, maybe I will keep my blog here and just try to reformat the “theme” so it looks like the other two spot.

I wish my brain was not slowing down with age.  Oh well.  I am definitely keeping it active. LOL

Boggles the Mind

Loon on Lake George
We had heard that Loons were on Lake George, but we had never heard or seen them. We were on a boat ride with our friend and we saw this bird in the water at a distance. As we got closer we realized that it was a Loon. We spend the next twenty minutes or so, watching it dive and pop up on the other side of the boat. It was a real treat for all of us.

I am still plugging away at themes and menus and links.  What a mess at this point. I keep getting the feeling that I am trying to work on too many things at once.  I also wonder if I should just kill the blogs that I have and start out new, with one built into my WordPress.org integration with Photoshelter. That might make things a little less complex. The only issue there is I hate to just delete everything that I have done.

Need more time to think about this whole thing.  The brain just doesn’t work as fast as it used to.  😦

Holding My Breath

Not really, but things are going to get interesting over the next couple of weeks/months. I am not a web developer and I never will be, but I have decided to try to integrate everything. I have web hosting through one company. I have all my photos at another company’s site. This blog is using WordPress.com.  AND, I have now started looking at WordPress.org. 

My reason for looking at WordPress.org is that everything I have read indicates that it is a lot more flexible and you can do a lot more with it.  Yes, as people have said, you do have to get your hands dirty, but it does give you so many more options that it is worth the aggravation.

I have created a home page with links to PhotoShelter but I am not sure how to set things up so that when someone types in artnortonphoto.com, they will go to my new home page. My new home page is still under construction, but here is what it looks like right now.

I am doing a lot of reading and watching videos on YouTube for that. I still haven’t figured it out.  The other thing that will be a challenge is porting all of the WordPress.com blog to the new WordPress.org account. I’ve printed out the instructions on how to do it, but I am almost afraid to start the process. Maybe that will be my project for tonight.

Oh well, we will see what happens. Wish me luck!

 

Digital Signature

I have spent a lot of time over many months trying to figure out if I should sign my photo prints and, if so, how.  There seem to be so many varied opinions out there that it is hard to decide.

Some folks say you should sign the mat when you mount the print, but others say people can decide to change the mat to match their walls so it doesn’t make sense to sign the mat.  Other folks have said you should sign your name and add the date and the name of the print on the back. Other folks talk about a digitial signature, etc., etc.

So, from what I can see, there is no “standard” way to sign a photograph for exhibition or display.  It is up to the individual or the gallery that is displaying them.  Based on that, for right now, I am going to use a digital signature.  For me, even that was a challange in that I have not really used Photoshop all that much. I spent quite a bit of time deciding how I wanted to sign my prints and then I had to scan the signature in and then create layers in Photoshop. One layer for each color that I might want to use.  Luckily there were a lot of good videos on Youtube to show me how to do all this.

What fun.  🙂

 

Our Awesome World

sunrise-20161012_mg_5893Yikes, where has the time gone.  There have been so many times I have intended to sit down and write something, but then I never seem to quite get around to it.  I really admire all the folks out there that write on their blog on a consistent basis.  It does seem to take a lot of willpower to stay with it.

This post is going to be a little off the subject of photography, but, photography is how I got here tonight.

My wife and I spent a few days in Ogunquit, Maine last week.  We have been going up there for the last 8 years or so.  It is the only place that I seem to wake up right around or before sunrise.

On our first morning, Bette looked out first and said the sunrise was AWESOME.  I jumped up, grabbed my camera, and took the above shot with my Canon 60D and my EF-S 15-85mm lens.  This photo has NOT been edited.  It was dumped from the memory card to Lightroom and then right back out as a JPG file. I also posted a photo that I took from my cell phone (HTC10) to my Instagram account and shared it on my Facebook account. Again, no editing.

I have looked at this photo many times and each time I do, it reminds me of what an amazing world we live in.  There are over 7 billion of us living on this little blue marble in the Milky Way galaxy which is made up of 100 billion stars.  The current estimate is that there are over 10 billion galaxies in the observable universe. Can you imagine the intelligent life forms that must be out there somewhere?  It just completely boggles the mind.

And on the flip side, just look around you and check out all the wonderful things that are within your sight. We stopped by the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge in Wells, Maine. That is a wonderful place to visit. I hope to post some photos to my website and my Facebook page in the next few days.

Hopefully I will become a little more disciplined in the future and post on a regular basis.

Thanks for stopping by.

Never as simple as it seems

Hot Air Balloon
We had quite a surpise while we were staying on Lake Fairlee in Vermont. We heard a faint woosh off in the distance and ran down to the beach to see what it was. We watched this hot air balloon soar across the lake. It touch down on the water and then gloated away into the sunset. It was a beautiful site.

Bette and I spent the last two weeks in Vermont and New Hampshire and I had everything all figured out as far as how I was going to deal with my photos during that time.  As I filled up my memory cards, I was going to load the photos onto my daughter’s old laptop for safe keeping, and then move them over to my desktop when I got home.  It didn’t quite work out that way.

My problem was that I decided to work on some of them while we were on vacation.  Oops, that now meant that I couldn’t just move the photos over. I had to merge the Lightroom catalog from the laptop with my master catalog on the desktop.

When we got home and after we unpacked, I spent a lot of time watching videos on YouTube trying to figure out exactly how to do that. Once I thought I figured it out, I went ahead and did the merge and it turned out it wasn’t quite that easy. I somehow managed to mess up the links to the photos so I had to have LR find all of the 1800 “missing” photos again. Then there were also problems with  the metadata not synching so I apparently had two versions. Then the question was, which one should I use – the original info from the laptop or the info that was now with the photos on the desktop? I chose to go with the original and so far it looks like that was the correct choice. We will see how things go in the next couple of days as I start to go through all the photos.

The Featured Image is of a hot air balloon that we spotted going over Lake Fairlee, VT.  We had just finished supper when we heard the noise and ran down to the beach.  It came sailing over the trees, passed over the summer camp next door, touched the water, and then soared up again, floating away into the distance. It was a beautiful site.  I hope to post more pics of it on my website and Facebook in the next couple of days.

Happy Fourth of July

IMAG1542Happy 4th of July to anyone that may be looking at this blog.

I have had a number of good conversations in the last few days with a couple of good friends and great photographers.  Tom Sears, who is from New Hampshire and Erik Eskedal who is from Massachusetts.

Tom is a wonderful wildlife photographer who has done a lot of traveling over his 80+ years.  He has always been full of hints on photographing animals in the wild and has been very helpful to me. We have had conversations about metal prints, canvas prints, lenses, focusing, etc. If you like beautiful wildlife/nature photos you should stop by his site  (http://www.digitalphotographics.us/index.html)

The major thing that Erik taught me recently is do NOT stand in a canoe and try to get a better angle for a photo of a great blue heron.  You might end up taking a swim with your camera gear. 😦  When we get together we always enjoy conversation about lenses and composition.  His photography is more “in the moment” and much more varied in subject matter. He just returned from a trip to Myanmar and Cambodia.  You can check out his work here:  (http://eskedalexpressions.com/).

The flag cake is courtesy of my wife, Bette.  It is actually what is called a Jell-O Poke Cake.  She made it for our Fourth of July celebration with family.  It was delicious!

Trying to stay active

Moon and Clouds -  Moon and Clouds - 20160617-002I am trying to stay current/active on the different social media apps that I am using (two Facebook pages, Instagram, Twitter, my website) and process all the photos that I have taken.  I did manage to get some photos spread around the apps for our visit to the Mt. Auburn Cemetery and some cloud pics that I had taken the other night.

In looking at my “Needs to be Reviewed” folder in Lightroom, I realized that I had 450 photos from our last trip to Parker River NWR that I had not finished going through.  Now the question becomes, because that was something that we did in March, should I just file them away in the PRNWR folder or take the time to go through them and see if there might be something interesting even though it would be out of date/sequence. Something to think about…..

I am also finding that I don’t always seem to be in the right frame of mind to sit down and go through tons of photos. That becomes a problem when we have a number of activities in close succession.  I am finding that forcing myself to go through them does not help me pick out the good ones. It becomes a chore, which is not what it is supposed to be.

Oh well, I will keep plugging away and see  where it goes. 🙂

So many directions to go

LR - Sunset - 20160531-034The last couple of days have been very interesting.  I seem to be going in way too many directions right now.

  1. I have been taking more photos with my HTC One (M8) and getting a little frustrated with it.  Wish there were more options available for modifying the pics before posting them online.  LR mobile (which I have) might work.  Just need to take the time to learn it.  Fascinated by the new HTC 10 phone. Everything I am reading is that the camera is excellent. It even supports RAW which is great.  Contract is up on my current phone, so upgrading to the new phone is a possibility.
  2. Had a conversation with Fred Levy yesterday (http://www.fredlevyart.com/index). I originally met him through the Metro-west Photography Collaborative (http://www.meetup.com/MetroWest-Photography-Collaborative/)  He created a book called the Black Dogs Project. It is a wonderful book with beautiful photos and wonderful stories. Talking with him has gotten the spark going again to learn new things and get out there more and just take photos.
  3. In that Adobe Bridge is part of the Photography CC package, I got curious about it and started looking at tutorials. It turns out that it really is not for me at this point.  Lightroom (LR) CC and Photoshop (PS) CC are a good fit.
  4. While poking around You Tube, I came across a  tutorial on creating great sunsets using Lightroom CC. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fewTszRRX2Y) He talked about some things that I had not used before in LR – Tone Curve, Split Toning, and parts of Detail.  Very interesting stuff.  Will be very helpful going forward.

I also renewed my subscription to Tim Grey Learning.  He is a great photographer who has multiple things going on all the time. You can see what he is up to here: (http://www.timgrey.com/)